In This Article Expand or collapse the "in this article" section Hinduism and Buddhism

  • Introduction
  • Bibliographies
  • General Surveys
  • Gender and Sexuality
  • Later Historical Developments
  • Hindu and Buddhist Tantra

Hinduism Hinduism and Buddhism
Greg Bailey
  • LAST REVIEWED: 25 July 2023
  • LAST MODIFIED: 25 July 2023
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780195399318-0039


Buddhism and Hinduism were never discrete religio-cultural systems, even if they are often taken as such. Most people and scholars tend to use the names as catch phrases for the two religions—one reflecting the overwhelming importance of the Buddha, the other taking up a Persian word—to encompass a set of cultural religious ideas and practices extending back to the second millennium BCE. Buddhism and Hinduism have always overlapped in ideas and practice, and they have always interacted. And though Brahmanism (the name given to Hinduism’s precursor) existed earlier than Buddhism, the rise of Buddhism and Jainism as intellectual systems, and their success as recipients of patronage, forced the Brahmanical intellectuals to consolidate their religious practices and teachings and reify their existing systems. Brahmanism as a name indicates the strong input into the intellectual culture from the Brāhmaṇa class, whose emergence as a powerful and successful social group espousing a distinct view of culture associated with the Sanskrit language, the performance of the śrauta ritual, and a particular metaphysics of the person, is manifested most fully in the Mahābhārata (200 BCE–200 CE). Subsequently, Buddhism and Hinduism, in their multiplicity of forms, arose on South Asian soil and coexisted in various forms of peacefulness and antagonism for many centuries, until Buddhism entered a state of decline in numerical terms around 600–700 CE, only to continue to thrive in countries such as Nepal, Sri Lanka, and many other parts of Asia.


Unfortunately, no bibliographies exist that are devoted solely to this specific subject. But relevant information may be found in Bibliographique Bouddhique (Bernet Kempers, et al. 1928–1958), and Hanayama 1961 lists over ten thousand items published before 1933. Nakamura 1980 lists many relevant articles and books grouped in terms of Buddhism’s historical development, and while Stietencron, et al. 1992 is devoted to the Hindu epics and puranas, its updated electronic version also includes material pertinent to the interaction between Buddhism and the two epics. Very recently a bibliographical essay on Buddhism and Hinduism has appeared—Mason 2022—that contains much new material.

  • Bernet Kempers, August Johan, G. L. M. Clauson, et al. Bibliographie bouddhique. Publiée sous le patronage de la Société Asiatique. 32 vols. Paris: A. Maisonneuve, 1928–1958.

    Very comprehensive list of publications on Buddhism in many languages. Includes relevant material on Hinduism and Buddhism from many perspectives.

  • Hanayama, Shinsho. Bibliography on Buddhism. Tokyo: Hokuseido, 1961.

    Limited to publications up to 1933, but still worth referencing for material relating to this subject.

  • Mason, G J. Buddhism and Hinduism. In Oxford Bibliographies in Buddhism. New York: Oxford University Press, 2022.

    DOI: 10.1093/OBO/9780195393521-0273

    This gives a list of the important publications on Buddhism and Hinduism up until its recent revision in 2022. Each entry is accompanied by a brief summary of contents.

  • Nakamura, Hajime. Indian Buddhism: A Survey with Bibliographical Notes. Hirakata, Japan: KUFS, 1980.

    A selective list of books and articles dealing with Buddhism in its historical and doctrinal development, some of which are concerned with Buddhism’s interactions with Hinduism. Covers many Japanese publications.

  • Stietencron, Heinrich von, Peter Flamm, et al. Epic and Purāṇic Bibliography (up to 1985). 2 vols. Wiesbaden, Germany: Harrassowitz, 1992.

    Currently being continued in electronic form. The search engine attached to the online version enables searches to be made for publications dealing with Hinduism and Buddhism. Most entries include summaries of the publications.

back to top

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content on this page. Please subscribe or login.

How to Subscribe

Oxford Bibliographies Online is available by subscription and perpetual access to institutions. For more information or to contact an Oxford Sales Representative click here.